Prohibition blog

February 2011

Viewing posts from February , 2011

Churnalism is launched to combat cutting and pasting journalism

The last couple of weeks have been interesting because there have been some fascinating developments in the world of media. One of those new developments was the creation of a new site called Churnalism. The site has been created by The Media Standards Trust to basically identify where copied press release text is being lifted from and used. On Chunalism you can do the following according to the news release (whoops I have pasted it sorry):

    • Compare a press release with more than 3 million articles published by national newspaper websites, the BBC or Sky News since 2008
    • See the percentage of a press release cut and pasted into news articles, and the number of characters that overlap
    • See a press release side-by-side with an image of the article, showing which bits have been copied
    • Search examples of “churn” saved by other people as well as collected automatically by
    • Share examples of churn via Twitter and Facebook

This video which accompanied a great write up in The Guardian is brilliant and shows Chris Atkins and the team on a quest to get untrue news stories into the media to show how our hacks are now lifting copy and placing it into national newspapers.

Churnalism In the older days of PR when I started out, the majority of Churnalism would be from the smaller specialist trade titles, who would often also ask us to pay for our articles by adding a colour separation fee. Sadly, those days are still here and with the evolution of the internet and shared content it seems that the newspaper industry still doesn’t appear to be keeping up with online publishing and social media.

However, that said another great revelation came out a couple of weeks ago that pointed out that the majority of Twitter news is still derived from the more traditional news sources such as BBC etc. The article stated:

An analysis of more than 16 million tweets on 3361 topics by HP Labs’ Social Computing Research Group identified just 22 users who were the source of the most retweets while a topic is trending.

And during a trending topic, 31 per cent of all tweets are retweets.

Sixteen of these ‘influencers’ were mainstream media, including Twitter accounts for CNN Breaking News, which has almost 3.9 million followers, Huffington Post, Sky News, BBC World Service and the Daily Telegraph.

I think this is good news because good journalism still thrives its just that the times we are living in means that journalists have to move forward and do more work with less colleagues. I live next door to a senior sub-editor on one of Yorkshire’s largest newspapers and she has told me how tough it is at the moment in the newspaper industry but I don’t need to tell you that.

I think the Churnalism site is a great idea and way of drawing attention to the issue. I also think that the team behind it should produce a white paper or some kind of report on the state of the industry each year, as I would find it genuinely interesting to see if there are real trends in cutting and pasting. One thing is for sure there may be more cutting and pasting but there are still some excellent journalists out there.

Twitter statistics just got better as Tweasier launches new stats section

As readers of the Tweasier blog will know, the team and I have been busy over the last six months working hard on improving our Twitter management application. One of Twitter mention statisticsthe key things ours users have been asking for is better Twitter statistics which can be exported and manipulated in programs like excel – so you can make your graphs look how you want.

Well I am proud to announce that we have moved things on significantly and we are going to continue to do so. Our Pro and Premium account users now have access to these new statistics but you can test them too with our free 7-day trial.

Social media measurement is critical to understanding the success of your social networking activities. Twitter statistics can be critical in helping to identify how effective your online campaigns have been. Twitter metrics are a clever tool which can help you identify your potential reach and the size of your audience.

In our twitter management application we have packed it full with useful statistics that can all be exported and shared with your friends or colleagues. We know you want to be able to justify using Twitter as a business tool, so we have shaped our application offering accordingly to help you show your influence on Twitter.

We have created an analytics dashboard that allows you to see your most important Twitter statistics in one place. We have also created several statistics sections which are clearly labelled and broken down into relevant categories.

Our new Twitter statistics clearly show you the following:Twitter network statistics


Twitter Network Statistics

· Who are the most influential friends and followers in your network?

· Who are the most popular friends in your network by number of friends?

· Who are the most popular friends in your network by number of followers?

· Who are the most popular followers in your network by number of friends?



· Total mentions of your twitter account.

· Who has been mentioning you on twitter?

o This will help you to see who you are engaging with

· Hourly mentions –when during the day you have been mentioned the most?

· Daily mentions – which day you have been mentioned the most in the week?

· Weekly mentions – this table shows you how many mentions you got in a week and compares it to the last four weeks

· Monthly mentions



Do you want to know how popular your tweets are? Who shared your tweets and why well this section will help you identify that.Twitter RT statistics

· How many RTs of you?

· How many RTs to you?

· How many RTs by you?

· A table which shows how much of your content was normal tweets versus you sharing RTs with your network


Link Content

· Total links shared by you

· Total links shared by everyone in your network

· Total number of tweets from your network that contained mentions

· Total number of tweets that contained questions

· Total number of tweets that contained RTs Links

· Our full integration means you can shorten links in Tweasier share them and track that link for unique Timeline statisticsclicks.

· See which links you shared through Tweasier were the most popular.



· See the total tweets published so far since you joined us

· Tweet frequency – see how many tweets have been published

· Hourly tweeting – when is your network the busiest

· Daily tweet frequency

· Weekly tweet frequency

· Monthly tweet frequency




· See all of the people you have followed in the last two weeks

· See which friends were acquired through our searches so you can refine your searches for better targetingTwitter Friends



· See all of the people who have followed you in the last two weeks

· See which followers you have acquired over the last two weeks


· See how effective your saved twitter searches have been within Tweasier.

· Our tables show you how many searches you have

· Which is the most productive search?

· How many people you have followed and unfollowed from these searches


Twitter usage

· See which Twitter clients your friends and followers are using most from Tweetdeck through to Hootsuite here you can see them all and track them.

If you don’t have a Tweasier account you can sign-up here.

If you have any questions about any of this, please feel free to contact us by email and we will do our best to help you out.

Best wishes,

The Tweasier Team

Curtain walling specialist celebrates 2011 by scooping more than £2million worth of new contracts

A Wakefield based curtain walling and rainscreen cladding specialist has toasted the New Year by scooping more than £2million worth of new manufacturing contracts.

NG Developments (Normanton) Ltd, based in Normanton, Wakefield and one of the UK’s leading specialists in design, manufacturing and installation of architectural aluminium glazing systems and Rainscreen Cladding systems saw exceptional growth in 2010 and in 2011 that has continued to the tune of more than £2million.

The Yorkshire manufacturing business has already secured five new projects and the growing influx of new business has enabled it to go on a major recruitment drive in the last six months, with a full-time receptionist and two new team members joining its installation team adding to the five new staff that joined in 2010.Travelodge Manchester

Adrian Lee, commercial director at NG commented: “There is no doubt we are really happy the way 2011 has started for us, despite the gloomy way the UK economy looks at the moment. The good thing for our business is we now know we have enough work to see us well into the latter stages of this year. However, we still have a number of other exciting projects in the pipeline and we are always looking to win new business and expand even further. As a company we are hoping to create jobs this Spring not cut them.”

One of the projects that NG Developments has been commissioned to work on is a new Travelodge in Manchester working alongside contractor Marcus Worthingtons. This will be NG’s second Travelodge in only three months, as its team is currently putting the finishing touches to another hotel in Hull.
Lee continued: “We are really enjoying ourselves at the moment and looking to the future; as a company we have big plans to grow and develop and these new contracts will help us along that path. Investment in our manufacturing department continues with the purchase of a new Elumatec double-mitre saw, which will help increase overall productivity even further.”

NG Developments will be busy in the coming months helping with the rolling out of two new Building Schools for the Future (BSF) schools across the Sheffield area, the first of is The City School, a contract in excess of £1Million.

It has also landed a new contract to help with the construction of a new Starbucks’ coffee shop and an office block refurbishment in Northampton.
NG Developments is now in contract negations on several other multi-million pound deals planned for the second half of 2011.

Coverage for this story has been secured in several places including here:

Quora – The Ultimate Q&A Site?

Just a couple of months ago, few people had heard of Quora, the suddenly very fashionable social question and answer site. Founded back in 2009 by CharlieQuora Cheever and Adam D’Angelo, traffic to the the site suddenly exploded around Christmas and it now has comfortably in excess of 500,000 registered users.

The premise behind Quora is very simple. Registered users post questions – and other registered users answer them. Despite the enthusiasm of some social media commentators, Quora is a social networking site in that sense only: the connection it forms between question setters and those who answer them.

A visit to Quora reveals a sparsely designed, text-heavy site with a clear message: it’s the content that is important here, not eye candy. The latest questions to be posted scroll down the home page, in an simple feed. A straightforward search box at the top is available to users looking for questions and answers on particular topics.

Of course, Quora is the not the first question and answer site – but a few relatively simple factors distinguish it from well-established rivals like Yahoo! Answers and WikiAnswers. Firstly there is the uncluttered design, free from the rather garish ads and colour splashes of other sites. Then there is the fact that users must use their real names rather the internet pseudonyms so common on the other sites. The belief – or at least hope – is that this will encourage quality material. People are far less likely to troll, flame or post nonsense when their real name is attached to the result.

Finally, Quora has attracted some big names – particularly amongst the technology industry, including Steve Case, co-founder of the once enormous AOL, and Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Facebook. If you want to know exactly what the latter thought of recent – and much lauded – film ‘The Social Network’, for example, Quora is the place to look.

Is the Kenneth Cole tweet the worst ever done by a brand?

My eye was caught by this tweet today and I was flabbergasted anyone could have thought this was a good idea for a brand or a person to send out.

I don’t know what they were thinking and I can only suppose the brand wanted to get noticed for a tweet but I think this is one of the worst tasted tweets I have ever seen. If not the worst.

If ever there was a case proving you should be careful who manages your social media channels this is it. If you are a large brand or a small company please provide some kind of social media policy and make sure the person who is representing your brand has common sense and good taste.


What are your thoughts guys I am genuinely interested? I think it’s simply awful.

Will Facebook Places Deals finally bring ROI to social media marketing?

Yesterday was a pretty exciting day, not least because it was the football transfer deadline day and we saw the British transfer record broken but also because Facebook announced Facebook Places Deals product in UK and Europe and I think this is going to be a big deal.

I think Facebook played catch up following the huge excitement of Foursquare and to a lesser extent Gowilla in 2009/10, as people across the world used their mobiles to check-in to local venues and give their tips and advice on certain places. Foursquare had been around quite a while when Facebook launched its Places product but as soon as it did the mobile check-in game began to change. Why? Chris Norton is on Foursqaure

  1. Because Facebook is enormous and people like to see where their friends are.
  2. People like to tell other people what they are doing
  3. Because essentially we have turned into a bit of a nosy bunch

Apparently, there will now be four types of check-ins with Places Deals:

  • Charity Deals – to help give back to a good cause.
  • Individual Deals – retailers can give away items.
  • Loyalty Deals – users can build up loyalty points.
  • Friend Deals – get rewarded for bringing friends to a location.

According to the Guardian:

Through deals with partners announced today, the first 30,000 Facebook users to check in at Starbucks stores in the UK can claim a free coffee, the first 1,000 to check in at Debenhams will receive a free mascara and makeover, and the first four to upgrade their contracts and check in at O2 stores will win a free Xbox or Playstation.

Mazda, Yo! Sushi, Usher and Alton Towers also announced offers, while Argos and Benetton are donating to charity with a set number of checkins. Companies can list themselves for free in Deals, and Facebook says it does not take any share of revenues from the promotions.

Personally I use Foursquare and Facebook Places differently because I tend to have two totally different audiences but that could just be me. Most of my school friends for instance don’t tend to use Foursquare but are nearly all on Facebook which means I share different content on different platforms.

In my mind Facebook Places Deals is now the social media mobile equivalent to a loyalty card and its all going through their mobile platform. You have to tip your hat to them because its a genius move. I know a lot of people who don’t use Facebook at all on their PCs but now they have a smart phone they are checking in and out every time they stop for a Starbuck’s Coffee.

I think this is the start of proper ROI on social meida as brands track how many check-ins and products they have sold using social media promotions.

Do you think Facebook Places Deals is going to change the way brands interact with their fans?